Alaska has a history of people just vanishing into the wilderness never to be seen again. Sometimes they are found, but often times they stay missing.
When i first met dolly, in January of 2005, her son Richard Thomas Hills had been missing for almost a year. I was working on a story about the phenomenon in Alaska of ordinary people disappearing while doing ordinary things. In Anchorage, the statewide coordinator of search-and-rescue at the time, Lieutenant Craig Macdonald, had told me about some recent cases, including that of Rick Hills. He described the case as tragic for the family but typical of what troopers dealt with almost every day. More than 3,000 people had been reported missing the previous year in Alaska, a state with a population smaller than San Francisco’s.
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